Firstly, before you even open the door to Revo’s rather aggressive-looking Fiesta ST you’ll note that this car has been treated to more than a simple software upgrade. Compared to the standard example this ST sits noticeably lower, and the 17in Team Dynamics lightweight wheels fill the Fiesta’s chunky arches more meaningfully than the stock rims. Obviously, the big Revo sticker down the side also gives the game away that this is no standard run-around.
Fire it up, and as you’d expect from a well-mapped car, there appears to be no noticeable drawbacks compared to the factory version; it fires on the button, idles perfectly, and in every way – apart from the initial bark from the Scorpion exhaust – is just like the standard car.

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That all changes with just a gentle blip of the throttle though! Immediately you can hear the turbo dumping what sounds like huge great volumes of air – certainly more than the standard car. Be slightly braver on the loud pedal and this ST really gets up and goes! From about 3000rpm onwards, it really does give you a kick up the backside! Keep your toe in and it’ll pull all the way round to just shy of 7000rpm, and you’ll be shifting up in the blink of an eye.

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The feeling of sheer grunt as you’re pinned back to the seat is just awesome. And that is largely down the immense amounts of torque this thing produces; nearly 300lb/ft of the stuff! And that, in a little car, with a punchy turbo is enough to bewilder more than a handful of lane-hogging, pinstripe-wearing, middle management types in their considerably more expensive German barges. Accustom to everyone getting out of their way as they stomp along the outside lane in their 4.2-litre V8s, they are somewhat shocked to find a little black Fiesta planted to their rear bumper!

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Every time I drive a new Fiesta ST is always amazes me at how hard they pull, especially at motorway speeds. A small-capacity town-car like this shouldn’t be able to accelerate this hard at those speeds, but it does. And with the best part of 100lb/ft increase over standard, that effect is even more pronounced with the Revo Stage 2 software fitted. It really will give big-engine diesels a run for their money in the motorway dash!

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I keep going on about the power and torque increases, but undoubtedly one of the major contributing factors to the thrill behind driving Revo’s Fiesta is the suspension set-up. The Bilstein coilovers are superb; there’s no other word for them. Yes it’s a bit stiffer than standard, but the last time I drove an OE ST I remember thinking ‘the ride is a bit firm’, so it’s not really upset the balance there. But get to a corner and it just comes alive. In fact, it feels like no matter what speed you are entering the bend, you could have gone faster! The whole car just feels so well planted, like it’s stuck the tarmac. It also, bizarrely, makes the standard brakes feel much better too. I’m assuming this is due to the improved geometry and weight distribution offered by the adjustable coilovers, but whatever it is I actually thought the brakes had been replaced with a bigger disc and caliper! It wasn’t until I got out and checked that I realised they were standard!

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On the test drive I did, however, notice that when you’re really giving it some the traction control does have an annoying tenancy to want to intervene! Sure, this is not exactly something you can lay the blame for at Revo’s door and you can always turn off the ESP, but do so and the front-end starts to become a bit more wayward. Although, a large portion of this was probably due to the hapless  driver! Remember the age-old rule of ‘squeeze, don’t blip’ when it comes to throttle control on a front-drive car. Do this and the ST responds well, but as my test route consisted of lots of greasy A-roads, it had started to rain considerably (and it wasn’t my car!) I decided to switch the traction control back on and put up with an over-keen ESP system in exchange for the computers keeping me out of a hedge.

My route also took in a decent stretch of motorway too, where the ST performed admirably. The exhaust note was bearable for my relatively short stint at motorway speeds, and while it actively encourages and audibly excites you on the blast around town, I can imagine that on a lengthy motorway journey the booming could start to get a little tiresome. However, there are loads of different exhausts available for the ST including resonated and non-resonated systems, so you’ll easily find one that suits your needs. Plus, I can’t see many Fiesta ST owners doing lots of motorway miles on a regular basis anyway, so I doubt it’ll be much of an issue.

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The Revo Stage 2 software undoubtedly works best on a car with hardware upgrades too, and I would recommend getting the supporting mods (air filter, exhaust, and intercooler) fitted before installing the Revo Stage 2 software to insure reliability and to maximise the impact of the upgrade.

The software can be set to run on normal 95RON unleaded, or higher-octane super unleaded fuels, and Revo claim power figures ranging from 215-229bhp and torque figures of 261-293lb/ft . Judging from my experience, I’d be inclined to belive those quoted figures too!

The Stage 2 software costs just £495, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of the hardware upgrades too – no problem if you have already started making mods, but a cost worth noting if your ST is still box-fresh.

Revo aren’t stopping at Stage 2 either, and plan to release a Stage 3 upgrade very soon which, with supporting mods, is expected to produce over 300bhp! If this Stage 2 is anything to go by, the next level is going to be a real animal!

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Spec
1.6-litre EcoBoost, Revo Stage 2 software upgrade, Scorpion turbo-back exhaust system, Airtec Stage 2 intercooler, Bilstein B14 coilovers, Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 8x17in alloys, Dunlop Sportmaxx tyres.

Power: 215-229bhp, 261-293lb/ft

READ THE FULL FEATURE IN THE JANUARY 2015 ISSUE – CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY>>

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